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Okinawa heart transplant teen coming home soon

Date Posted: 2011-10-14

A 13-year-old Okinawa girl who underwent heart transplant surgery in New York City to save her life earlier this year is soon heading home.

Miyu Kaname, a Kamimori Junior High School first grader, had been suffering from Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, a deterioration of the hart muscle, triggering a massive community outpouring that raised more than ¥160 million to send her to Columbia University Hospital in New York for heart transplant surgery. The surgery was a total success, and cardiac catheterization and monthly physiology tests have shown no rejection of her new heart.

“Miyu is delighted to be able to come back to Okinawa,” says her father Toshiaki. “She wants to meet her friends and to see the roommates she was hospitalized with in Okinawa. She’ll be first ransported to Osaka University Hospital for a week, officials say, and then return to Okinawa on November 14th. The Urasoe City teen had entered junior high school last April and joined the tennis club with no previous symptoms of any medical abnormality to give cause for concern.

While doing a routine medical check up required to participate in sport activities, an abnormality was pointed out while reading the electrocardiogram. Since then she had to stop all sport activities and slow down on her school work which had placed a strain on her heart, while partial treatment was received at Nanbu Medical Hospital. From there, fundraisers led to establishment of the Miyu Aid Office, which oversaw the travel to the United States and the successful heart transplant without infections or post-operative problems.

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